Colchester Voice Academy is the teaching practice of Technical Voice Teacher and Performance Coach Leigh Martyn Thomas. With 20+ years professional experience singing and acting, Leigh started teaching others in 2009. Since moving online in 2020, the courses and classes are available beyond Colchester. Leigh has a network of fantastic voice teachers and specialists from all over the globe and has invited them to teach masterclasses and courses to bring more varied but always voice relevant resources to her clientbase.
"Although I am Colchester based, since moving 100% online, I have been so fortunate to work with singers and teachers in other parts of the world. Since launching the Vocal Freedom podcast in May 2020, I have been opening up my world to a whole new community of people, primed to help as we raise awareness about vocal health and wellbeing for the next generation. We discuss voice as well as topical matters that affect the professional entertainment industries"
Leigh has spent the last decade studying the inner workings of the human voice. After spending time understanding the mechanics, analysing the acoustics, the really geeky science, the emotional programming, the way our bodies and minds work.
"I work with many young people, who are aiming to become professional singers, some for the west end, others in commercial music. I have a particular interest in assisting the voices of tomorrow before they move on to full time courses, so they are leaving us with a positive and honest depiction of what that next stage involves and what it takes to successfully work as a professional singer or performer. I want to help my students achieve their personal vocal goals. I also massively enjoy working with adult clients who are putting singing back into their lives for enjoyment and wellbeing, as Singing for Health and Pain Management is another area I have been investigating lately. So many of the adult singers I work with could turn professional but that lifestyle is not necessary desirable for them, as the pure enjoyment they get from taking part in a showcase, or achieving a near perfect score in a Music Theatre exam, is reward enough. The friendships between singers is also something I am so very grateful to see. Working online together in groups for our summer showcase this year was a magical experience. Despite everyones lives being turned upside down with Lockdown, our community came together, welcomed new students into the fold and produced something truly unique together."
Colchester Voice Academy provides lessons on vocal technique to enable you to achieve your vocal goals. We also have a support network with our Vocal Freedom Podcast community, which includes access to professionals in
- Voice Therapy
- TV & Film Production
- Other Voice Teachers with varied specialisms
- Holistic Therapies, Meditation & Wellbeing
- Acceptance & Commitment Coaching (ACC)
- Estill Voice Training (EVT)
"In order to reach your true potential vocally, I like my clients to understand that singing is a full body and mind experience. Many people have stress or anxiety issues that affect their ability to feel completely in control of their performance. For many years, I have provided two live showcases per year for my amateur singers to practice performing on a stage in front of an audience. These experiences really help improve performance and confidence. They also help each student understand where they have room to grow, not just vocally but working with positive mindset techniques that can propel you towards achieving the performance you want to give."
Leigh is a member of the British Voice Association, Association of Teachers of Singing and Musicians Union. Leigh has had safeguarding training and is DBS registered. Leigh is also a Certified Estill Master Trainer and has studied:
- Vocal Acoustics, Formants & Harmonics
- Anatomy & Physiology of the Phonation System, Respiratory System, Nervous System
- Rehabilitation and habilitation techniques for injured singers and those in recovery
- Audio and Video Production and Sound Engineering
- Psychology of Learning, Mindset techniques, Acceptance & Commitment Coaching, MPA (Music performance anxiety)
- Voice for the Actor
- The Accent Method
- Understanding the Ageing Voice
Leigh is on a mission to raise awareness about vocal health and wellbeing.
"I believe it is a primary human right to use your voice with freedom. As a vocal coach I teach voice and performance technique of course but I have also witnessed how emotional stress, trauma and grief can lock up the voice. We also have many of our elderly population, living alone, not using their voices for days on end. Wouldn't it be lovely for everyone to spend a little part of every day using their voice to read a favourite story, sing a favourite song or just say out loud what you are feeling in the present moment?. You can learn all about my findings and that of many professionals by tuning into the Vocal Freedom Podcast".
Colchester Voice Academy is proud to be the home of The Vocal Freedom Movement - our new online community is preparing for launch alongside our new courses from 1st January 2021.